Salman Khan, Shahrukh Khan, Saif Ali Khan: Will the real men please stand up?

We say this ‘coz we are tired of watching Bollywood’s 40-plus superstars chase pretty young things in miniskirts, sing ludicrous love songs and sock goofy goons in their faces. When are they gonna stop behaving like callow boys and become grown up men?

We wonder if Shahrukh Khan, Salman Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Akshay Kumar, Ajay Devgn and even perfectionist Aamir Khan are stuck in a time warp. If you look at the superstars’ recent movies, they are still playing roles that are close to the ones they did when they started out 20-something years ago! And it makes us wanna scream out loud: Why can’t Bollywood superstars strike a balancing act between playing 20-year-old loverboy and 40-year-old gentleman, just like George Clooney and Brad Pitt have done? While Hollywood hotties proudly show-off their age lines and graying hair, Bollywood’s biggest names hide time – or try to – by using the wonders of cosmetology and Photoshop!

In an interview to Bollywood Life during the promotions of Agent Vinod, we had a glimmer of hope when Saif Ali Khan said: “I can’t play a regular loverboy at 40. I want to play slightly older, mature characters now. Loverboys are for the younger lot to play. If I try to play a 20-year-old, I will look old. I want to look younger playing the right age.”

Ironically after making such a tall claim, we discovered that the Nawabi actor’s next film happens to be Cocktail – a love square involving two girls (Deepika Padukone and Diana Penty) and two guys (Saif and Randeep Hooda). Since he’s a father of two in real life, shouldn’t Saif be playing a father, or a character closer to that age group, and not a loverboy-playboy type these days?

Various other stars are guilty of such ridiculous acts. After two big disasters – RA.One and Don 2SRK has gone back to the genre that made him the superstar he is today. The King of romance’s forthcoming films, Yash Chopra’s untitled film opposite Katrina Kaif and Rohit Shetty’s Chennai Express, are full of the emotion called love.

Never mind that Rowdy Rathore set the cash registers ringing at the box office, but it was quite odd to watch the 40-plus, soon-to-be daddy for the second time Akshay Kumar act cheesy, goofy and run after a girl half his age (Sonakshi Sinha). Don’t you think so too?

As for Salman Khan, we thought finally he’d changed his heart and would do some hardcore action in Kabir Khan’s action thriller Ek Tha Tiger. After watching the film’s theatrical we realised the Brat Khan isn’t yet ready to give up those funny gags or perky punch lines or even wooing a beautiful woman onscreen with a little song and dance.

Ajay Devgn and Aamir Khan are less guilty of getting stuck in the rut, but if you think of Singham’s repetitive stunts and Rancho’s act in 3 Idiots, you can’t help but tell all these fast-ageing superstars that it’s time to wake up before the coffee gets overdone and bitter! And let the real 20-plus newbie actors play 20-year-olds onscreen.